Creating consistency to deliver a high quality service. Standardising processes within a multi-faceted and complex telecom and hosting businesses.
By digitising and standardising tasks and processes, Rory and his team were able to simplify the management of various departments, tasks and procedures.
Rory Delahoyde is the owner and MD of two companies, HA Hosting and Holbrook Telecom. Holbrook Telecom provides telecommunications services to the reseller market; HA Hosting supports IT service providers with fast, competitive cloud hosting, virtual servers, SIP/VoIP and virtual servers.
Headquarters: Sheffield, UK
Company size: Various
Website: hahosting.com & holbrooktelecom.co.uk
Industry: IT & Telecommunications
Hi Rory, can you give us some background?
I’m the owner of two UK-based technology companies, HA Hosting and Holbrook Telecom.
I’ve worked in IT for thirty years. We have smaller teams split across two companies, and we work on quite complicated projects, completing complicated tasks along the way.
To manage these, we used a wide range of solutions from spreadsheets to wikis, project planners, to-do list apps and our main ticketing system for customers.
Tasks would get lost between all these lists, especially because I was delving into different tasks across departments, including General Management, Marketing and Technical.
Why did you need a task management system?
Consistency in the way our team delivers the service to our customers.
We also needed to know where we were with certain jobs and when things were going wrong. We are all working remotely now so this was really important.
Ease of use wasn’t at the top of my list – but it should have been.
Initially, I wanted all kinds of features and integrations. I spent some time trying to create processes that linked to other software and other features, but it became too difficult, especially for some of the more complex tasks. I had to step back and create something that was simple to use, which also made it easier for others to adopt.
On the technical side, different members of our team would each build a server or software platform in their own way. While that’s fine to a certain extent, and the job gets done, it complicates troubleshooting when things go wrong, because it wasn’t built in a uniform way.
We had to find a solution to standardise our hardware and software builds across the technical team.
Why did you choose beSlick?
You can go from a simple, single-stack task that can be ticked off quickly to highly complex tasks with more than fifty steps and multiple assignees. You can task a single piece of interdependent work between several departments and observe progress as it’s passed from invoicing to sales and management, for example. It’s a good way of raising the quality of work that we complete.
You can instantly see where a particular task is in the process, whether it’s been held up, and where.
As a manager, this makes it easy to intervene wherever there’s a bottleneck to help move a task along to the next phase.
Initially, we looked at many different solutions to try and control the projects and day-to-day tasks. The software we used either wasn’t complete, didn’t do what we needed or was just too complicated.
I liked beSlick because I could just start using it. While we realised there were many other features, it didn’t hinder it. You can work as you go along and add or remove steps as the need arises.
Have you seen any measurable benefits?
Yes, definitely, such as our ISO 27001.
After the first week or two of using beSlick, we were due for our external ISO 2007:1 audit. We didn’t have enough experience to create a process for it at that stage, but we used the My Tasks feature to record everything we did to prepare for the audit. Everything is fully documented, so we can turn our list of to-dos into a fully-fledged process. You can turn your tasks into a process template by simply documenting everything as you work.
We’re an EOS® business, and one area I’ve really seen the benefit is our weekly Level 10 meeting.
The entire process of managing that whole meeting is so much easier. I used to spend a lot more time preparing for that meeting, writing out tasks, trying to remember what we agreed to do, and then assigning roles.
Now, we can go through all of the steps directly in the meeting, get the information saved and recorded, and assign tasks to the relevant people within 30 or 40 minutes.
What would your advice be for other businesses?
I think the biggest reservation with any software is getting everyone to use the software!
I think we’ve done quite well. There are still some people who could use it more. I would like to get a place where everyone can create processes from start to finish and feel confident enough to change them. Department managers are usually the ones who create processes, but I think as staff become more confident, they’ll start tweaking processes themselves.
Would you recommend beSlick?
I would definitely recommend beSlick to anyone who has either a lot of small tasks or a few big tasks they need to stay on top of.
There’s more depth to it than a straightforward to-do list because you can create the processes in the background. You can pass a job between different people and back again and stay on top of everything as it progresses.
The service experience has been fantastic. I love the use of video.
Whenever I have a question, I get sent a video demonstrating how it works, usually within a very short period of time. The training sessions are all great, as well. I always pick up and learn something new.